Optimize Your Business-to-Business Payments to Seal the Deal: Forrester Study
December 27, 2021
Forrester Study: “Optimize Your B2B Payment System to Seal the Deal” Showcases the Many Benefits of Payment Modernization
To gain insights into the state of business-to-business payments, we commissioned a study by Forrester Consulting. They conducted a survey of 200 global payment decision-makers, and their findings revealed common challenges and interesting trends.
Not surprisingly—we are in the post-pandemic digital transformation era, after all—over 90% of respondents expect that enhancing business-to-business payment options for B2B customers will improve customer satisfaction, speed up transactions, free up internal resources and increase business success. The survey also confirmed key components to overcoming challenges with payments systems as part of the digital transformation of B2B payments is a focus on speed and security.
Payment challenges can be overcome with proven solutions
Companies understand the impact of poor payment experiences; they lead to loss of sales opportunities and revenue. That’s why simplifying the buyer experience remains a challenge many organizations still are working to overcome. But becoming aware that proven solutions exist to enhance systems can be—and should be—a catalyst to prioritize finance system improvements. In fact, as we move into 2022, you’re behind the curve if you haven’t started updating antiquated systems and processes.
Here are the most urgent business to business payments updates that need to be made, according to the executives surveyed:
• Faster payment process
• More digital payment options
• More flexible payment terms
• Increased scrutiny on security and fraud
How to make B2B payments faster and more flexible
Covid-19 has definitely changed buyer expectations: the difference between B2C buyers and B2B buyers has collapsed. To quote Forrester Principal Analyst Jay McBain, “Three years of consumer behavior change was squeezed into one year in 2020. … Consumers are now demanding online experiences, happily virtual, wanting seamless digital procurement and provisioning, and wanting everything at the click of a button. … It’s all about speed, convenience, and remote, whether the buyer is acquiring a Peloton or a software product.”
Add more digital payment options. One key feature of an improved business-to-business buyer experience is to offer multiple ways for first-time customers to pay, all with the ease of one-click purchasing. Our new study found that B2B merchants now offer 4.7 payment methods, on average. Of these companies, over 50% currently offer traditional wire transfer, digital wallet payments, traditional credit cards, and real-time payments.
Add more flexible business-to-business payments terms. Keep in mind that business customers often prefer to purchase on terms. In the shift to digital-first interactions, instant decisioning is critical to grab the sale and keep the customer. Plus, these buyers will spend more, and more frequently, when they have a dedicated financial relationship and credit line with a business. The advantage over the competition is significant when customers know they can easily purchase once they’re ready for more stock.
How to minimize fraud such as Business ID Theft
It’s the nature of ecommerce these days that, as online sales grow, fraud is likely to increase. As more customers are acquired online and globalization accelerates, there is a growing risk of business identity theft and other forms of digital fraud. These days, sophisticated fraud detection processes are absolutely mandatory for companies of all sizes.
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The survey data has been compiled in a Forrester Opportunity Snapshot that outlines the challenges and opportunities organizations face as they prioritize payment modernization as part of an ongoing digital transformation. The snapshot charts the most urgent business to business paymentss concerns of the last couple of years and how it varies in a post-pandemic present and future.
Explore the state of business to business payments innovation